About the Studio

Originally a community studio in Dubuque, Mississippi Mud is now a more private concern located in Maquoketa, IA.

Mississippi Mud has two resident artists, owner Gary Carstens, and working partner Tab Link. Their primary focus is to create sculptural and functional work using traditional and innovative techniques. With over 45 years of experience between them, Gary and Tab utilize their combined skills to create high-quality works that strive to enrich everyday life.


Each hand-made piece is created out of their custom stoneware clay body and fired to vitrification, making the ware durable and lasting.

In addition to their one-of-a-kind ceramic works, Mississippi Mud Studios has an established custom commissions program and provides small-group  learning opportunities for all ages at their studio in Maquoketa.

Gary Carstens

Carstens was born in Oak Park, Illinois and received his B.A in fine art with an emphasis in sculpture and ceramics from Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois.


He is presently the owner of Mississippi Mud Studios in Maquoketa, IA.

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Gary Carstens unloading the wood kiln.

Tab Link

Link was born in Dubuque, Iowa and received their B.F.A in fine art with an emphasis in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Today, they create their work  at Mississippi Mud Studios in Maquoketa, IA. 

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Tabitha Link stoking the wood kiln.

From Mentorship to Partnership

Link and Carstens first meet through a community program in Dubuque, IA that match young artists with a professional artist working in the community.

"The coupling was designed to be a temporary arrangement: The two would meet once a week for six months, with the program culminating in a student-focused art show.


Seven years later, however, the relationship between Link and Carstens not only has continued but also has evolved."

Today, Link and Carstens are business and studio partners; combining their styles and skills to make custom art for personal and commercial use.

We are incredibly grateful that the Telegraph Herald wrote about our studio and relationship. Make sure to follow the link to read the full article!

403 Pershing Rd

Maquoketa, IA 52060

©2020 by Mississippi Mud Studios.